Today is Wednesday. It would have been my brother’s 60th birthday. Happy Birthday, Brother!
Wednesday’s topic is Parenting. Lest you think I’ve been making up everything I write about my kids and how much I enjoy being their parent, I asked my son if I could turn a text he wrote to me and his Dad into a guest post. He sent it to us yesterday morning. This is Middle Son, the one who just moved out and is about to get married. He is almost 26 years old. He is a middle child, hence the name Middle Son. He has two older brothers and a younger sister and a younger brother, those two being the twins who displaced his spot as the baby of the family when he was almost three. Here in his words, other than the changing of personal names and places to protect the innocent, I promise you I have not changed anything else except one spelling error I found, Middle Son’s longest text ever:
Middle Son’s Account of Moving Out for the 1st Time (officially):
Wednesday Morning: Woke up hopeful, thinking the two bedroom loft would work out perfectly. Zoomed down to Big City only to find that it was cramped, old and had a creepy parking garage that smelled like a dumpster. Ate lunch with Fiancé and left to head back to work feeling like I was 6 years old all over again and I was about to leave for 1st grade – what in the heck were we going to do? I was totally fine with continuing to live at home (😀), provided it was my parents we lived with after getting married (let’s call a spade a spade, you guys are just more fun to hang out with).
Wednesday Afternoon: after coming to grasp with the fact that the loft idea wasn’t what we needed to do, I feverishly begin scouring the internet in search of a place to live, and much to my surprise – there it was… exactly what we were looking for. The next few minutes were hectic to say the least, a flurry of phone calls in an attempt to make sure we were the first ones to see the silver medallion. What was to take place over the next 72 hours would prove to test the strength of the strongest man.
Wednesday Evening: Having submitted our applications – all we could do was wait, which wasn’t the easiest thing to do considering this very well may have been our last shot at finding “the place.” …and so we waited…
Thursday: The day of Thor. Another flurry of activity. It wasn’t until mid day that we heard the word that our application had been accepted. Relieved? Oh yes. But the magnitude of what was to take place over the forthcoming days had yet to set in. It was all about executing the task at hand to move the wagon another mile down the road – one mile further from our old home, one mile closer to the new. Thor’s day came and went in what felt like the blink of an eye – a preview of how the next few days would feel.
Friday: Signing leases, picking up keys, reserving moving trucks – Friday flew by as we were busy planning every aspect of the move the following day…. and so it came…
Saturday: Or as the Romans referred to it, Dies Satumi (“Saturn’s Day). We hardly had time to blink. From sun up to sun down, we were in a constant state of motion. Loading trucks, driving across town, unloading, organizing – it was another flurry of activity that shielded our eyes from what was actually taking place. Saturday came and went, and with it came soreness known by few. The day was long, but we accomplished the goal. What was next? We weren’t even thinking about that – merely thinking about getting settled in this new place we called home.
Sunday: The Sabbath. Sunday was spent with little time for reflection. Rushing back and forth between the new home and the old, gathering up belongings forgotten the day before. Had we stopped yet to think about where we were or what we were doing? Maybe for a moment, but then it was back to the task – pack, move, unpack, repeat. Sunday came and went.
Monday: Has it set in? Not really. First day of the week – gotta get up (Nilsson Schmilsson plays in my head). Get ready, get to work, back to reality. But a different kind of reality. The end of the day rolls around and as I’m heading for the door, I check traffic and immediately move and zoom and map to best show the route I’ve taken home for the past 28 months, only to stop myself after the realization hit that I was traveling to a different place this time. A place I’m supposed to call home, but to me it’s still just a place to live. A place to sleep, get ready and leave, to once again return hoping that with each day that passes, it begins to feel a little more like home. As I walked in the door, and said hey to Fiancé I stopped. She stared at me wondering what the heck I was doing. Finally, after all of the commotion had settled, I stopped and listened. What did I hear? Nothing. The quietest quiet I’d ever heard. And then it hit me. We’re on our own (literally, but mainly figuratively speaking since we’re only 30 minutes from Old Home). It made me think of Childhood Town – kids running around, dad playing Metroid on the Nintendo, mom making spaghetti or hamburger patties, mashed potatoes and gravy. I had always known that they too had been on the same boat years before, but this was the first time I was there, for real. College was close, being off on our own, but this time it was different.
Tuesday: When it really set in. Fiancé finishes getting ready and hits the road 30 minutes before me. I do pushups (trying to get into a routine), but can’t help but think about the fact that I’m in Big City now, in a home, by myself – weird. Time will pass and things will change, but for now it just feels strange!
(to be continued)
Sent from my iPhone
If you’ve read earlier posts, this is the child for whom I started our homeschooling adventure. He mentioned in the text above “feeling like I was 6 years old all over again and I was about to leave for 1st grade.” Yep, for people who get homesick, it’s a feeling that they never truly outgrow. They can always reach back in and feel it. Others of us may get melancholy, but it’s not the same. Melancholy brings a warm, sort of sad feeling thinking back to a time not necessarily sad, but it generates a longing for or a remembrance of the past. Homesickness is a retching feeling that all is not right with the world, that you are not where you are suppose to be. He was terribly homesick in the first grade. We started homeschooling. He was really homesick the first time he spent the night at a friend’s house. We picked him up. He was desperately homesick when he went off to college ten hours away at the age of 19 even though his girlfriend (now fiancé), and Second Son and his girlfriend were there, too. He worked through it, but it was a very stressful time. He managed three more years at that college ten hours away and did a summer internship in a city five hours away all without being too homesick. He worked for two months out in the field half a country away his first year on the job and has since taken a few business trips a year without any signs of homesickness.
Thinking he wasn’t going to find a decent place for himself and his fiancé to live brought that feeling back. Luckily, the very next day he found the perfect place. What he’s feeling now is a melancholy, much better than feeling homesick. I am so very happy for him as he starts this new chapter in his life. Like I’ve said before, being a parent is the best job there is, the hardest, but the best. Tomorrow I think I’ll borrow from his wedding website, the story of how he and his fiancé met. You’ll get a kick out of it.
That’s all for now, thanks for reading!